WEC Newsletter Volume III, Issue XV

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WEC Newsletter

Volume III, Issue XV
August 25, 2023

School buses parked near a train overpass in Janesville. Photo by *Hajee via Creative Commons.

Back to School!

The turn toward September means the school year is almost here! Today we're offering a full curriculum to help you ace the upcoming election season.

Look forward to our next issue on September 21!

WEC Photo

Updates on Envelopes

You asked and we answered.

The WEC compiled a list of common questions regarding the new envelope designs and printing requirements.

Where do I put the return address?

You can add return addresses to the right of the color box above the Great Seal of Wisconsin.

Mailing side of the new EL-122 with suggested addressing layout.

We have also compiled a comprehensive printing guide, with color conversions and envelope dimensions.

Do I have to print them in color? Or in the colors set by the Commission?

Yes, the color scheme for the envelopes was approved by the Commission and must be followed. The specific colors needed are discussed in the printing guide.

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Badger Book Trainings are in the Works!

Clerks new to Badger Books should sign up for a training session this fall if they intend to use them in 2024.

Calling all Badger Book users  —   or soon-to-be BB users   —   who have not yet been through training: we have options coming for you this fall.

Clerks who use Badger Books   —   or plan to  —   need to complete the required training before using them in 2024. New clerks in municipalities already using Badger Books AND clerks planning to order them for the first time for use in the April 2024 election, please email the WEC team at @email to get on the list for our Introduction to Badger Books training.

Or, if you are a veteran user who would like to become a Badger Book certified trainer, please email us to join the Train-the-Trainer sessions.

Along with the Intro training, refresher trainings for clerks and chief inspectors will also be offered. Emails will be sent to all current users with the dates, locations, and times for those sessions.

All trainings will be offered in late October and November (before the holiday).

WEC will not offer Badger Book training in 2024 due to the already busy election calendar. No one should use Badger Books for the first time in the 2024 General Election, so it's important to get trained this fall so you can use Badger Books in the spring election cycle.

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Women in Renaissance-style costumes

Similar to role-playing, TTX is a scenario-based training that focuses on the common and not-so-common situations encountered by clerks, chief inspectors, and other election workers at the polling place on Election Day. Photo by Milomingo via Creative Commons.

National Tabletop Exercise

State officials use training sessions to plan
for the best while also preparing for the worst

A wide mix of representatives from the Wisconsin election administration community, including WEC staff, participated recently in the “Tabletop the Vote 2023: National Election Exercise.”

The purpose of the four-hour exercise was to “identify best practices and areas for improvement in election incident planning, identification, response, and recovery.” Wisconsin was one of numerous states participating remotely in the event, which was coordinated by CISA, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

The bulk of the exercise involved working through created scenarios that included both cyber and physical attacks designed to disrupt an election. The scenarios were not based on actual events but presented participants with very real and timely issues to discuss.

The WEC encourages similar “tabletop exercises” at the county and municipal level, and we stand ready to assist in any of those efforts.

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The original Meeme Poll House may have officially closed in 1983, but visitors can still cast mock ballots at the Manitowoc County Historical Society. Photo by Royalbroil / Wikimedia Commons via Creative Commons.

Election Plans for 2024

Time to review your Spring Election and Presidential Preference Vote election plans in WisVote

If you’re a clerk managing your own elections in WisVote, WEC encourages taking some time before the 2024 election season is in full swing to review your Spring Election and Presidential Preference Vote election plan.

Many of the existing plans were adjusted in ways unique to April of 2020 — which, as we know, was a strange time indeed — and it’s very likely the arrangement of wards and polling places from that time are no longer applicable.

Inaccurate plans cause issues for voters looking up their polling place on MyVote. The information in your WisVote election plans plugs directly into MyVote, and if that information hasn’t been updated there’s potential for incorrection information to be presented to a voter.

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Make Sure Voters Can Find You!

Check your staff info on MyVote

Maintaining your contact information and staff list in WisVote is crucial for ensuring that voters can contact your office and that only active election officials have access to this sensitive database. You can easily verify that your municipality's clerk contact information is correct by using MyVote. Click on the "Find My Clerk" link in the footer and enter a local address.

Please keep the WEC Helpdesk aware of any outgoing staff or incoming staff members who need WisVote access and the dates when they will need to have their access changed.

Please contact the WEC Helpdesk if you have any questions about your staff's credentials for WisVote.

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Helping a Neighbor, And Serving Her Community

The Plover River Segment of the Ice Age Trail runs through the Town of Harrison and the surrounding area. Photo by Amy Bayer via Creative Commons.

Kathy Kloes’ Path to Town of Harrison Clerk’s Role Was Winding

As Town of Harrison Clerk Kathy Kloes learned earlier this year, it can take a village to serve as town clerk.

Kathy Kloes

Her close neighbor, who was Town of Harrison clerk for the past couple decades, had been wanting to hand off the clerk baton for a quite a while, but no one was reaching out to take it. That prompted Kloes to decide in May that her time had come to serve, and the Town Board appointed her to a three-year term.

“My neighbor was the real reason,” Kloes said. “I just felt badly for her. She served our municipality for so long, and nobody else would step up, and I’m like: ‘I can do that.’”

The Town of Harrison is in far northeastern Marathon County, just outside of Antigo, which lies in Langlade County to the northeast.

“We’re tiny,” said Kloes, explaining her town has a population of just over 300, with around 200 registered voters. She and her husband live on a farm and are currently transitioning the beef and cash crop operation over to their son.

Her husband had been a Town Board supervisor, which is how she initially learned of her neighbor’s dilemma with the clerk’s job.

“He would come home from meetings, and he was like, ‘We’ve had this clerk position advertised and nobody is biting,’” she said.

Kloes started communicating with clerks in surrounding municipalities, hoping someone would be willing take on another township. Her efforts were not successful.

That’s when she began to feel a sense of service to her community while also being a good neighbor. Kloes agreed to take on the job, initially calculating that a small municipality would equate to a small workload. How wrong she was.

Kloes is averaging 15 hours a week as clerk, and that’s on top of much more than 40 hours a week she dedicates to her full-time job. She works for a nonprofit corporation, supervising a staff of 25, while helping to coordinate employment and training programs across a 12-county area.

“It has been a little overwhelming at times,” said Kloes. Right now, as clerk, she’s investing a good deal of time to make needed technological upgrades while also ensuring policies and procedures are in good written form.

“I’m not there yet,” she said. She’s also getting up to speed on the position’s procedural aspects, such as understanding requirements for posting and noticing bids and meetings, along with learning how to send bills and cut checks.

When she has questions, she has found other clerks to be tremendous resources: “Everybody I have asked questions of has been very willing to provide answers, or give insight, or share examples,” she said.

For election knowledge, she often taps computer-based training available through the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC). “I feel like I can go find whatever I need,” she said. “The WEC has good materials, and I can search to get what I need.”

While the last few months have, at times, been hectic, they’ve also been rewarding. “With all the changes I’m making, it should get easier,” she said. “And I could see after the three-year appointment, considering staying on.”

Kloes said her current mission is to bring the township in line with up-to-date technologies and best practices and to leave the position in a better place for the next clerk, whomever that might be.

“Somebody’s got to do it,” Kloes said. Her neighbor and her larger community are certainly thankful she was willing to serve.

Upcoming Dates & Deadlines

Upcoming Commission Meetings

  • August 30, 2023 – Special Meeting
  • September 7, 2023 – Quarterly Meeting

Upcoming Elections

  • February 20, 2024 – Spring Primary (if necessary)
  • April 2, 2024 – Spring Election & Presidential Preference Primary
  • August 13, 2024 – Primary Election
  • November 5, 2024 – General Election

Recent Clerk Communications

Questions or comments?

Call 608-261-2028 or email @email


Wisconsin Elections Commission
201 West Washington Avenue, 2nd FloorMadison, WI 53703
P.O. Box 7984
Madison, WI 53707-7984